Updated: September 5, 2021
Thank you for your understanding and patience as we implement these new procedures. Our goal is to minimize disruption while at the same time keeping you, your family and our staff healthy and well.
Daily Health Checks
Following the CDC guidance, parents are to check their children for symptoms of any sickness and to take their child’s temperature before coming to school each day.
As per our policy regarding sickness, if your child is feeling ill, has had a stomach or intestinal issue within the last 24 hours, bad cough, green runny nose, chicken pox, pink eye, fever, etc. PLEASE KEEP THEM HOME. For non-COVID-19 sicknesses, children may return 24 hours after gastrointestinal issues resolve, cough or cold significantly lessen, or child has been fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication.
COVID-19 symptoms may include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea. If a child is diagnosed with COVID-19, they will only be readmitted following current CDC guidelines.
As your child arrives each day, a staff member will take the child’s temperature with a contact free thermometer to be sure there is no fever before parents leave, and before the child enters the building.
These same precautions will be taken with our staff.
Arrival and Departure Procedures
For Car Line Procedures, please see here.
We realize that masks play an important role in stopping the spread of COVID-19.
- Both students and staff are required to wear a mask in school.
- Students and staff may remove masks outdoors for gym class and playground time.
The CDC realizes that young children will play closer than 6’ apart and has issued guidelines on keeping the children together in smaller groups (“pods”) that will not interact with other groups or enter other classrooms, thereby keeping the potential exposure to a minimum. Due to our typical class sizes we can align our traditional programs without mixing with other classes.
The children and staff will be encouraged to wash hands frequently throughout the day in addition to before snack, lunch and after bathroom. Hand sanitizer will also be used with the children, as needed.
- We will have the entire school professionally cleaned and disinfected each day. After school, disinfecting sprayers will be used with CDC-approved disinfectant.
- Each classroom will have all touch points, toys, furniture and equipment disinfected at the end of the day and throughout the day as needed.
- All floors and bathrooms will be scrubbed.
- If a room used for a morning class is to be used for an afternoon class, that room will be cleaned at lunchtime.
- Tables will be cleaned multiple times throughout a class.
There will be separate arts/crafts supplies for each child (crayons, scissors, glue, pencils, play-doh, kept in their own individual labeled art box.
Support Staff Service Providers
Service providers from the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit and or other agencies will be permitted into the school building for the 2021-2022 school year. As always service providers must be let into the building and sign in at the Director’s Office. Service providers are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated and will wear a mask at all times in the building. When possible services will be provided outside the classroom.
Special Events and Snacks
- Parents will not come into school for special activities, at least not during the fall.
- St. Matthew’s will provide all snacks for the children this year; full-day children will continue to bring in their own lunches.
- No snacks will be sent in from home until further notice. We will be happy to celebrate your child’s birthday with our traditional birthday crown etc.
- We will celebrate all of our traditional holidays, just with our own class.
Children may bring their school bags, but may not bring toys to play with or share with others in their class.
Illness and Return Procedures
A child may not come to school if they are ill, as described in Daily Health Checks above. If a child becomes ill while at school, the parents will be called and asked to take the child home.
Children may return to school 24 hours after the sickness has resolved (vomiting, diarrhea, fever), or fever has been gone after 24 hours with no fever-reducing medicine, after 24 hours on an antibiotic.
Confirmed positive COVID-19 cases and exposure
- If the child or staff is in school when the temperature or symptoms present, the child will be isolated to a different room (with supervision), the parents will be called and asked to take the child home.
- The infected classroom will be closed for 24 hours following a confirmed positive case of COVID-19, to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
- Parents will be informed if there is a positive case of COVID-19 in the school.
- Child or staff may only return after following the current CDC recommended quarantine strategies.
- If a child is showing COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) OR if you’ve been in close contact with a person or child testing positive for COVID- 19, we ask you to keep your child home. They must be isolated for a minimum of 7 days after symptom onset, and 72 hours after their fever resolves without fever-reducing medicines. (For example, if symptoms and fever resolve on day 7, the person can return on day 10.) For most, this will be 14 days after the household contact with COVID-19. We ask that all parents and staff let us know of any potential exposure immediately. A potential exposure means being a household contact or having close contact within six feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID- 19 for at least 15 consecutive minutes. The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic or tested positive.